Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen’s claim that “Current concessions on negative gearing and capital gains tax are not only unfair but unsustainable….we have the most generous property tax concessions in the world” is wrong, according to research by Australian Institute for Progress Executive Director, Graham Young.
“Not only is it wrong to claim that negative gearing and capital gains tax are concessions, but taking all things into consideration, taxation is lighter on property in a number of comparable countries.
“Take New Zealand for example. It allows for deduction of investment losses against other income and has no capital gains tax at all.
“That compares to Australia where we allow deduction of losses, but tax 50% of the capital gain.”
Mr Young said that under Labor’s plans Australia would have one of the highest rates of Capital Gains Tax in the OECD, second only to Denmark.
“Mr Bowen’s record on negative gearing has been one of overstatement and dishonesty.
“During the election campaign we asked him to release his modelling because it was obvious he was overstating the revenue to the government. He refused.
“This overstatement was confirmed by external modelling of the policy done by ALP think tank, the McKell Institute, the ANU, and since by the Parliamentary Budget Office.”
Mr Young said that it was ironic that Mr Bowen made this wrong statement in the context of supporting calls by former ALP minister Craig Emerson for a “cross party committee” to solve Australia’s budget problems.
“The political process has become so debauched by unscrupulous use of untrue statements that it is hard to see any bipartisan agreement.
“Mr Bowen’s statements also demonstrate that Labor does not accept that it lost the last election and is still proceeding to push policies that have been rejected by the public.
“Not only that, but no one who is economically literate would think that you could increase economic activity by slapping a new tax on one of the few sectors in Australia currently firing.”
Mr Young said that building approvals this year and last are at all-time highs according to research by UBS with 241,016 in the 12 months to October 2015 and 233,246 over the past year.
“At the same time as claiming that the RBA dropped rates because it wanted to increase economic growth, Mr Bowen wants to increase taxes, which would have the opposite effect.
“It is time to stop the game playing, and criticism for the sake of criticism and work towards sensible policies that will make Australia fit for the economic challenges it currently faces.”
To listen to Chris Bowen’s comments click here: http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2016/08/bst_20160803_0738.mp3